Mary Queen of Scots has let Queen Catherine’s fear of Nostradamus’ prophecies steer her away from marrying Francis — the man she’s been betrothed to ever since they were children — right into his half-brother Bash’s arms, changing the line of succession for the French crown along the way. The King, angered by all of Catherine’s plotting and scheming, found her guilty of adultery and treason, and her execution is looming. Basically, everything’s a mess at the French Court on The CW’s “Reign.”
That’s why mama’s coming to town.
On Thursday (March 6) night’s all-new episode, “Consummation,” Mary’s mother Marie de Guise (guest star Amy Brenneman) arrives at the French Court to clean up Catherine’s mess and get her daughter married to the next king of France — but will that be Bash or Francis?
Brenneman isn’t spilling. “Mary looks super pretty in the episode,” Brenneman tells Zap2it coyly. “I can’t tell you, I’m not supposed to tell you, I can’t tell you who she marries! But the wedding is beautiful. And I also get to wear a killer dress.”
Marie de Guise is a strong force in Thursday’s episode, driven by her motivations and simply by her personality. “I would describe her as really smart, really competent, very strong. She’s been running Scotland basically for 15 years waiting for Mary to grow up,” Brenneman says. “Very few women, including Catherine de Medici, didn’t actually run their country solo. So she is very impatient with what she sees is the hocus pocus going on in French court with Nostradamus and letting fortune tellers determine the course of nations.”
The former “Private Practice” star reveals that Marie’s arrival has a major impact on the rest of Court. “I sweep into court because it seems to me that Catherine has lost control,” Brenneman says. “She’s about to be beheaded. It’s just absolutely ridiculous. So I come in to whip everybody into shape. And I do.”
The fact that everything has changed due to a supernatural prophecy motivates Marie to get everything back to normal. “To Marie, the idea that decisions have been made because of a prophecy of Nostradamus’ is absolutely ridiculous. That’s what I’m most impatient with,” Brenneman says. “This process of Bash becoming legitimate, honestly she doesn’t have much patience for that either. But more, my beef is with Catherine. She’s let this court go to hell. She literally lost it.”
Marie isn’t all too upset with her daughter for falling under the spell of Catherine’s fear. “She’s just a child. My beef is more with Catherine and how she influenced Mary and the whole court in this ridiculous way,” Brenneman says. “My attitude with my own daughter is, ‘Yes, you’re young. You’re going to believe in this and that, fall in love with such and such. You’re a young passionate girl. That’s why mama’s here, because somebody needs to steer the ship.'”
Don’t expect Catherine and Marie to be enemies. Quite the opposite, in fact. “We’re of the same generation and really nobody understands what it’s like to be in this position except one another, so they have this bond,” Brenneman says. “And she’s known Catherine for a long time and they have betrothed their children together and essentially been in business together. But also there’s that added layer of how she has also been raising my daughter. I would say there is some rivalry in some ways but there’s a lot of camaraderie as well.”
Unfortunately we won’t get to see Marie and Catherine’s past in flashbacks, but Brenneman would love to see that in the future. “That’s an awesome idea!” Brenneman says. “Marie may show up again in the future, so that would be actually super fun.”
Marie and Catherine’s complicated relationship has nothing on Marie and Mary’s mother-daughter relationship.
“It’s beyond complicated. Mary desperately wants her mother’s love and Marie would like to give it to her but doesn’t really know how,” Brenneman says. “Although there is tenderness too and I think there is awareness of what has been lost with the way they’ve had to live since Mary was sent away at a young age for her safety. But I’m on her side, too. In some ways Mary is like the typical adolescent and there are moments where she is bucking and chafing.”
While Brenneman knows the most shocking moment of the episode is “the fact that there is a wedding at all” and which brother Mary ends up with, she is most excited to see how Francis and Bash’s brotherly relationship continues to decay.
“It’s written very organically and performed so beautifully how messed up the relationship of the brothers gets,” Brenneman says. “It gets really twisted and they both come to a place of hate. A lot of stuff that has been building, people have been taking off to not come to fisticuffs, it all boils up into this pretty, pretty messed up relationship that they now have.”
“Reign” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.